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Meghnad Saha was an eminent Indian astrophysicist who gave the world the theory of ionization which explained the origin of stellar spectra. By becoming one of the world’s most renowned scientists of his time, Meghnad Saha came a long way from his humble beginnings in a small village. Born into a poor family, he struggled to get primary education. But the brilliant and hard working boy never gave up and rose to the heights of fame and glory through his unrelenting dedication and commitment towards science. Fate also played a role in his development as a scientist as he had the good fortune of being taught by prestigious teachers like Jagadish Chandra Bose and Prafulla Chandra Ray. He passed his college exams with honours and found a job in the University College of Science, Calcutta. He started his research at a time when he didn’t even have access to a well equipped laboratory or a research guide. Yet he went on to propound what became known as the Saha equation which is used to describe the chemical and physical conditions in stars.

Meghnad Saha was born as the fifth child of Jagannath Saha and his wife Bhubaneswari Devi. His father ran a small shop and the family was poor. His parents, due to their financial position, weren’t interested in educating their children much.

Meghnad displayed a very keen interest in studies from a very early age. After the completion of his primary education his parents wanted him to drop studies and help in the family’s shop.

However the boy found a good Samaritan in Ananta Kumar, a local doctor who agreed to sponsor the boy’s education in return of some simple chores. After passing out of middle school he went to Dhaka in 1905 where he joined the Collegiate School.
He passed the intermediate examination in 1911 and joined the Presidency College at Calcutta. There he met Satyendranath Bose as a classmate; Bose went on to become a very prominent physicist.
At the college he was taught by Prafulla Chandra Ray and Jagadish Chandra Bose. He earned his BSc in mathematics in 1913 and MSc in Applied Mathematics in 1915.